International conference and roundtable discussion on dialogues between Confucianism and democracy hosted by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences
The International Conference on Confucianism, Democracy and Constitutionalism: Global and East Asian Perspectives co-organized by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Center for East Asia Democratic Studies, College of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica (IPSAS), and Himalaya Foundation was held Friday June 14 – Saturday June 15 at NTU. Conference attendees from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States discussed the relationship between Confucianism and constitutionalism.
The two-day conference was opened with the welcoming remarks by the Director of IPSAS, Professor Yu-Shan Wu, followed by a keynote speech by Roger T. Ames, Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawaii, on “Confucian Role Ethics and Deweyan Democracy: A Challenge to The Ideology of Individualism.” Chun-Chieh Huang, National Chair Professor and Dean, Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, NTU, explored how Confucianism can be united with democracy to translate into “Confucian democracy” based on Xu Fuguan’s work. Chih-Yu Shih, University Chair Professor of Political Science, NTU, and Chiung-Chiu Huang, Postdoctoral Researcher of Political Science, NTU, thought that modern democracy ignores interactions between the ruler and the ruled, thus proposed “relations and balances” from a Confucian perspective to redefine democratic stability.
Jiunn-Rong Yeh, Distinguished Professor of Law, NTU, and Wen-Chen Chang, Associate Professor of Law, NTU, discussed the role Confusianism has played in the development of East Asian constitutionalism. Yun-Han Chu, Distinguished Research Fellow, IPSAS, and Professor of Political Science, NTU, Yu-Tzung Chang, Associate Professor of Political Science, NTU, and Wen-Chin Wu, Postdoctoral fellow, Center for East Asia Democratic Studies, College of Social Science, NTU, used the Asian Barometer survey data to show that people’s support to Confucianism-influenced government are more susceptible to Confucianism than that to non-Confucianism-influenced government. Kwang-Kuo Hwang, National Chair Professor of Psychology, NTU, explained how self-discipline and Zhongyong form the basis of a Confucian theory of political action. Scholars from other countries, including Professor Baogang He from Nanyang Technological University, Professor Doh C. Shin from University of California-Irvine, and Professor Joseph Chan from University of Hong Kong, presented their research work and contributed to panel discussions.
The closing session of the conference featured a lively roundtable discussion on dialogues between Confucianism and democracy and constitutionalism. Prof. Roger T. Ames pointed out that there is still plenty of research to be done in this field of inquiry.